The residents of the Near West Side's ABLA Brooks row homes near University Village began Saturday evening with the best of intentions: a birthday party for former neighbor Everick Coleman. He would have been 43 today.
The party started around 9 p.m. in the 1300 block of West Hastings. About 200 people were outside when gunfire came from somewhere; those cleaning up this morning say are not sure.
Coleman was shot in his head and chest. By the time the ambulance arrived, he had died. Coleman's body was taken to the University of Illinois Medical Center to calm the crowd. Another woman, who is 40, was shot in her back and arm. She is now at Stroger Hospital. The size of the crowd, those here say, was a testament to how much his friends cared for Coleman.
"Everybody was having a nice time, we were enjoying ourselves, and it's a shame it had to go from a birthday celebration to a funeral," said Coleman’s friend, Jimmy Dukes.
"I got the call that he was dead,” said Coleman’s mother. “So I'm just riding. I just came from the morgue."
Said Coleman’s uncle, Tyrone, "He had just got a job doing security. He would give his last cent, the shirt off his back to help another."
"He worked everyday. He loved his family, his four daughters,” Dukes said.
Earlier this summer, 24 year old Eric Knox was shot and killed on this same block. Since June, this memorial of more than two dozen liquor bottles has remained at the spot of his murder.
"It's gotten out of hand," said Coleman's mother. "No one has respect for anybody anymore. Everyone things they can just pick up a gun. Not because it's my son, but every day on the news someone is getting shot. This generation has no respect for no one."
No one is in custody.